Frans Tuurenhout

Frans Tuurenhout

1943 - 2023

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Obituary of Frans Tuurenhout

Jacobus Franciscus “Frans” Tuurenhout, age 79 of Gardenton, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Monday, December 11, 2023.


He is survived by his wife Sandra, and their three children, Dan (Helen), Jake, Ben (Tiffany) and grandchildren Darcy, Joshua, Celia, and Caleb, his sister Tilly (George) and his nieces and nephews, and also family and friends in the Netherlands.


Frans was born on December 17, 1943 in de Hague, Netherlands to Jacobus and Catharina Tuurenhout. He went to University in Ede, Netherlands, where he studied agriculture. Shortly before he was to graduate, he was asked by his cousin to manage his dairy farm in the States. So at the age of 21, Dad immigrated to Virgina, USA. He arrived via the boat “Maasdam” in New York after a 10 day voyage. A month after his arrival in Virginia his parents and his sister Tilly joined him there. Dad spent two years managing his cousin’s dairy farm before moving up to Manitoba in 1966. He became employed at the University of Manitoba where he ran their dairy. His interview consisted of being asked if he was a dairy farmer, and if he was Dutch. After answering yes to both questions he was hired as a milker and worked his way up to be the herd manager.


In 1967, Dad fulfilled his dreams by purchasing a farm of his own. For awhile Dad tried to run both, doing his own farm work, and also driving every day from Gardenton to Winnipeg to work on the University farm, but the University saw how thin he was being stretched and asked him to choose between the two jobs. He left the University and dedicated himself fully to expanding his farm.


He and his parents lived together on the farm until 1980 when his good friend and neighbor threatened to put an ad in the newspaper for Dad to get a wife. He decided rather to write up his own ad. After two years of correspondence, and a couple of visits, Mom and Dad were wed on August 26, 1982. Mom and Daniel moved their things over from Ontario and joined Dad on the farm. Shortly after, in September of 1983 their son, Jake, was born, followed three years later by their third son, Ben.


Dad poured himself into his dairy always working to make things better and more efficient but it was a long hard road and endless hours with very little sleep. Finally in 1999, Dad built his dream barn with comfortable mats for the cows to sleep on, automatic manure scrapers, computerized feeding for each cow, a milking parlor that could milk the whole herd in an hour, and even a motorized back scratcher that the cows all lined up to use. Unfortunately, this was short lived and due to changes in regulations being made he had to make the tough decision to either make significant changes or shut down his dairy operation. With great difficulty, Dad decided to retire.


Once retired, Dad bought a used RV and was able to take a few family trips with his parents and his family. He was blessed by this special time and always spoke fondly of his treasured memories of these trips.


In 2012, Jake took over the farm and Dad had the privilege of watching all the excitement of the farm. He did whatever jobs he enjoyed doing and participated in any activity he could. He could be found fixing fences, hauling round bales with Mom, blowing out his many many bug zappers, gardening, caring for the goats and chickens and anything else he could to keep himself busy. He also continued to take piano lessons into his seventies and played routinely at the Roseau River Baptist Church.


Long after retirement Dad could be found still up before the sun pouring over the scriptures always working to expand his knowledge of God and the growing of his faith. He spoke constantly of his wonderful Savior, continually encouraging us as a family to walk with God. Dad loved to pass out Bibles to anyone who was interested. Though he dearly loved his farm, serving God was more important to him. Dad leaves us with a legacy of faith, love, and hard work.


 As Mom’s health began to slowly decline, Dad’s attention turned towards being a full time caregiver. He put all his energy into making meals, doing laundry, helping Mom in any and every way, and just seeing to her every need.


 In July, he became unwell and ended up in the hospital for three weeks. During that time, Ben and Tiffany took over caring for Mom and when Dad returned home from the hospital, he joined Mom, where he shifted from being caregiver to receiving his own care. He fought valiantly against his ever failing body, with his sheer determination he fought to live. His mind was strong to the very end but his body would just not cooperate. Finally on December 11th at 11:08pm Dad went sweetly into the arms of Jesus.


The memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 17th 2023, Dad’s 80th birthday,  at 4:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB. The family will have a private burial beforehand at the Roseau River Community Cemetery


 If friends so desire, donations may be made in memory of Frans to Youth for Christ, #308 – 8047 199 Street
Langley, British Columbia V2Y 0E2 Canada.


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Funeral Service

4:00 pm
Sunday, December 17, 2023
Birchwood Funeral Chapel
162 PTH 52 W
Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada
(204) 346-1030